As I See It

Why You Have Enough Time

I often hear “I do not have time”, oh hell, I often say “I do not have time”.

We hear this more and more, we say this more and more, until we accept the words “what can you do, this is how things are, nobody has time”.

From this point on we become rigid in our thinking, we accept something just because there is no way out, or we do not see a way out.

We come up with excuses to justify our “no time” view on the world, and the more we repeat this to ourselves the more we’ll believe it.

Please remember that you become what you think, just like the chained baby elephant story. Just in case you do not know what the story is about, it goes like this: a baby elephant was raised in captivity and always tied to a chain. As a baby he did not have enough strength to break the chain. He tried and tried until eventually he gave up. But the elephant grew, his strength grew, yet something remained the same. A though, deeply ingrained by an old experience, manifested in a limited belief about him and his actual strength. So he never tried again.

How often do we try again? How often do we stop and ask ourselves, is there another way? What am I missing?

Because I consider time to be a valuables asset, because I often say “I do not have time”, because I hate the notion of “this is how things are”, because I am curios by nature, and because I want to try again until I succeed, I have set a goal for myself to find a solution, or at least an answer that would satisfy me regarding the lack of time.

So I’ve searched and searched, I’ve payed attention to people and events around me, I’ve payed attention to me, nothing. So then I’ve decided to do the math.

Let’s do the math

A week has a total of 168h.

Let’s assume you sleep 8h/day, this means you sleep 56h/week.

When we subtract this number from the number of hours in a week we have 112h/week (168h – 56h).

Let’s assume you work 5 days per week and you stay 9h/day at work, lunch included, this means you work 45h/week.

If you subtract further you get 67h/week (112h – 45h).

It takes you 2h/day to travel to work and back, this means 10h/week are spent on traveling.

Subtracting, you get 57h/week (67h – 10h).

Again, assuming you workout 1h/day, 7h/week, subtracting you get 50h/week (57h – 7h).

You have fun 2h/day, 14h/week, that leaves you 36h/week (50h – 14h).

Going even further, you prepare for the unpredictable 1h/day, 7h/week, so your are left with 29h/week (36h – 7h).

This gets you 116h of free time each month. 1392h each year.

Almost 7000h of free time each 5 years!

And you know what? This is not an optimistic evaluation.


An optimistic perspective

Week = 168h

Sleep = 56h

Work = 42.5h (5 * 8.5h)

Travel = 5h

Workout = 4.5h (3 * 1.5h)

Fun = 10.5h (7 * 1.5h)

Unpredictable = 3.5h (7 * 0.5h)

Week = 46h (168h−56h−42.5h−5h−4.5h−10.5h−3.5h)

Month = 184h (4 * 46h)

Year = 2208h (12 * 185h)

5 years11040h (5 * 2208h)

Some say 10000h is all you need to be an expert in a field. Who knows?

Whatever you do with this time, you will eventually be damn good at it.


Lessons learned

You do have enough time! It is up to you to manage your time accordingly.

First of all do an assessment of how you spend your time based on the presented technique. Identify how much free time you actually have.

Find out on what activities you actually spend your time, and learn to throw away time wasting activities, e.g. watching TV without a goal, etc.

Learn to set goals and act upon those goals.

Work on the goals by learning to focus, for this you can have a look at The Pomodoro Technique.

Stop finding excuses and do it!


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